Wells Fargo & Co. has eliminated more than 700 jobs in commercial banking, kicking off a series of cuts that eventually could number in the tens of thousands, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday (Oct. 7), citing unnamed sources.
Bloomberg reported that the cuts affected workers throughout the division, which the wire service said usually works with enterprises whose annual revenue exceeds $5 million.
Bloomberg quoted Wells Fargo spokeswoman Katie Ellis as confirming that cuts have occurred, saying: “We are at the beginning of a multi-year effort to build a stronger, more efficient company for our customers, employees, communities and shareholders. As part of this work, we will have impacts, including job reductions, in nearly all of our functions and business lines, including commercial banking, where we have started displacements.”
Wells Fargo has yet to set targets for the number of cuts, Ellis said, but expects “to reduce the size of our workforce through a combination of attrition, the elimination of open roles and job displacements,” Bloomberg reported.
The statement was largely similar to an Aug. 21 statement from the bank confirming that it had ended its moratorium on layoffs.
Many banks have held off on laying off workers after pledging to avoid cuts as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
Wells Fargo was once considered a dominant force in U.S. banking, but outside analysts and the bank’s own executives have said it needs to cut costs. Among those costs is a $3 billion assessment for abuses that included setting up accounts for customers that had not requested them.
On Wednesday (Oct. 7), the bank issued a statement reiterating its plan to announce third-quarter fiscal 2020 financial results on Oct. 14.